EBRI Issue Brief
EBRI IRA Database: IRA Balances, Contributions, Rollovers, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation, 2017 Update
This Issue Brief is the ninth annual cross-sectional analysis of the EBRI IRA Database. It includes results on the distribution of individual retirement account (IRA) types and account balances, contributions, rollovers, withdrawals, and asset allocation in IRAs for 2017, the latest data available.
The EBRI IRA Database is an ongoing project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) that collects data from IRA-plan administrators across the nation. For year-end 2017, it contains usable data on 11.3 million accounts owned by 9.2 million individuals, with total assets of $1.30 trillion. For accounts in the database, the IRA type, account balance, contributions made, rollovers transferred, withdrawals taken during the year (if any), the asset allocation, and certain demographic characteristics of the account owner are included (among other items).
This update shows the importance of being able to measure not only unique IRA balances but also the combination of all IRAs an individual owns to determine the potential total IRA savings the individual has by aggregating their multiple IRAs. Indeed, the overall, cumulative IRA average balance per individual is 23 percent larger than the average IRA balance per account.
Here are the key findings in this annual update: